TIRELESS AMERICAN diplomacy has brought the two sides close to agreement on the Israeli withdrawal and on Palestinian measures against terrorism. Washington has proposed a plan for close American vetting of Palestinian security measures. Israel should accept this. America's role in convening these talks has been vital, but only Netanyahu and Arafat can assure their success. Both must rise above petty maneuvering and blame-mongering, and recommit themselves to a realistic peace.
The New York Times
EVEN IF President Bill Clinton and Netanyahu manage to convince Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat to honor his obligations, let there be no illusions as to how long Palestinian compliance will continue. Once Arafat has total control of 18.3 per cent of the territory (not to mention civil control over 40 per cent), all bets are off. A unilaterally declared Palestinian state in isolated islands of 3 per cent of the territory sounds like a joke even to Palestinians. The redeployment which Netanyahu supports would change all that. And yet, Netanyahu fails to come up with any kind of reasonable explanation for this redeployment. Instead, he offers excuses which, at best, are an insult to our intelligence. It won't be pleasant at Wye Plantation. Clinton is far from even handed. In the end it's up to Netanyahu. In the next days, we will find out if Netanyahu's focus is on Israel's destiny, or on his re-election prospects.
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